Mon, 26 February 2024

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Hold half of new build homes for British-based buyers, says Tory MP

2 min read

Half of new build homes should be reserved for people living in the UK to boost their chances against foreign investors, a Conservative MP has said.

Chris Philip, a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Philip Hammond, said the move to restrict the number of homes to those who are UK tax resident should apply to any new development of 20 units or more.

He added that it would cut down on housebuilders marketing entire developments to foreign buyers and follow the example of countries including Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Denmark.

The Croydon South MP said overseas buyers - largely from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Malaysia and some Gulf states - made up around 50% of London new-build stock owners, including for cheaper accommodation.

He also added that arguments against Government intervention “do not hold water” and insisted “housing is far from a free market”.

“The mere existence of the planning system means that the state plays a significant role in shaping its outcomes," he said in a report for the Centre for Policy Studies.

And he said housing was not like other goods, in that “you can always make more iPhones" but "you cannot create more land – especially not urban land in London and the South-East that is suitable for development”.

Mr Philp added: “The Government has taken huge steps to increase homebuilding from the low of 125,000 a year left behind by Labour to nearly 200,000 today. But more needs to be done. 

"We need to place home ownership at the front of the policy agenda and make sure that first time buyers get all the support possible to get onto the housing ladder.”

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